Samford University

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Office of Admission

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Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

When will I receive my I-20 / DS-2019?
Upon formal acceptance into your program of study your I-20/DS-2019 will be created. You will receive such via FedEx to the mailing address listed on your Application. Please note that these documents may not be sent to you electronically. 
How do I attain a student visa?

 Once you have been formally admitted to Samford University the International Studies Office will issue your I-20/DS-2019 form. In order for Samford to produce the I-20 necessary for students to come and study in America we must have Official Government documentation (Passport, Visa) and financial support documents (Bank Statement) showing available, liquid funds,in the amount of $35,000 USD. Please note that the bank statements should be signed and sealed by the bank.

You will then take the form you receive along with your Letter of Acceptance, financial documents and your valid passport to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. 

You will then apply for a student visa (F-1 or J-1 depending on your status) so that you may study at Samford University.  Prior to your visa appointment you must pay your SEVIS fee (I-901 fee).  More information regarding SEVIS.

Can my family come with me to the U.S. during the course of my study?

Only immediate family members may accompany you to the U.S. during the course of your program.  According to the U.S. government an immediate family member is either a child under the age of 21 or a married spouse of the F-1/J-1 visa holder.

In order for an immediate family member to accompany you at Samford they will (each) have to apply for an F-2/J-2 visa.  They should not enter the country on a tourist visa.  Each family member will receive an I-20.

In order to attain such from the International Studies Office the F-1 student must provide evidence of having at minimum $3,000 per immediate family member in additional funding to support them.  This is done via the Financial documentation provided in your application.

A J-1 visa holder must also provide evidence of having additional funding to support the immediate family member(s).

What are the English proficiency requirements at Samford?

All non-native English speakers who have not earned a degree from a U.S. English-speaking institution are required to provide evidence of English proficiency through either the TOEFL iBT or IELTS tests.

  • TOEFL iBT Range: 80-90
  • IELTS: 6.5

If English proficiency cannot be demonstrated students will have the option to enroll in Samford's ESL program.  Successful completion of this program may grant students admission into a degree seeking program. 

Please be aware that graduate requirements may vary depending on the program. Please contact the specific program to verify minimum acceptable scores for that particular graduate program.

Where can I take the TOEFL?

 Test centers are located worldwide.

TOEFL/iBT:  www.ets.org/toefl 

Samford Code: R1302

IELTS:  http://ielts.org

Does Samford require the GMAT or other test scores for graduate students?
 This depends on the graduate program which you are applying to. Please contact the individual program for specific requirements.
How do I submit foreign high school/college records?

All high-school transcripts must be translated to English and notarized prior to being submitted.  An independant evaluation may be requested for review.  There are two services which you may use for evaluation purposes.

WES- You may submit your application online at www.wes.org. You will need to request a detailed course-by-course evaluation.

AACRAO- You may access their site at ies.aacrao.org.

Address for all undergraduate evaluations to be mailed to (from the evaluating agency) is

Samford University
Office of Admissions
ATTN: Hunter Denson
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, Alabama, 35229, USA

Can I receive transfer credit from my university?
Samford does recognize credits earned from a college or university outside the United States as long as the transcript received a credential evaluation from WES or AACROA and course descriptions have been received by the office of student records from the former school.  For more information please click on the official International Transfer Credit Policy.  
All evaluations for entrance into a graduate program should be mailed to that particular graduate program.
 Please contact the graduate program for a specific address.
Is medical insurance a requirement for study?

Yes, per University policy, all international students (as well as their dependents coming with them) are required to carry sufficient medical coverage during the entire course of their program.

Upon admission to the University you should complete the insurance application and submit to Mrs. Ashley Gassner at 205-726-4341 (fax), jawells@samford.edu or mail to:

Samford University
International Studies Office
ATTN: Mrs. Ashley Gassner
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, Alabama, 35229, U.S.A.

Insurance will be ordered for you with the cost being placed on your student account.  Please arrive to the University financially prepared to bear this cost.

Can I defer my start term?
 You may. However, if you defer, you must notify the International Studies Office after you have been admitted. Your I-20/DS-2019 will need to be updated with a new program start date.
What should I do if I decide not to attend Samford following acceptance?
You must notify the International Studies Office immediately by email at hedenson@samford.edu.  You must then return the issued I-20/DS-2019 to our office.  You may not use such for entrance into the U.S. to study at a University other than Samford University.
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